Connect with us


How Marketers Create Attention Grabbing Adverts

Last updated by



As a dedicated marketer, we know you excited by even the smallest of improvements in conversion, so this article shows you how to make immediate improvements with your content.

Your marketing campaigns will perform better once you know more about the way humans tick and why they react the way they do to stimuli.

Let’s look at the brain’s psychology in marketing and how to use it to sell just about anything! This article is a layperson’s interpretation of how successful advertising is not just luck but also a ‘science’ to crafting the perfect campaign.

Reaction To Stimuli

Why do some advertising and marketing videos, images and content get a huge reaction and go viral when other professional campaigns fail to hit the mark?

To answer this question, we need to know about the makeup of the brain. Essentially there are two core areas of the human brain that deal with stimuli, i.e. information coming in.

Lizard Brain

We have our lizard brain, aka ‘reptile brain’ or dinosaur brain. It’s the oldest part, and all animals have it. You’ve heard of ‘ fight or flight’ response, and that’s the lizard brain at work, and this part of the brain steps up as our ‘first responder’ to stimuli.

In an earlier article going down the rabbit hole marketing, we mention how important it is for marketers to appeal to the lizard brain, i.e. wake up the recipient or consumer to get them to pay attention to your message.

So how do you activate the lizard brain successfully?

Well, over the years, we’ve become desensitised to advertising in all it’s glory, albeit there are exceptions like the Super Bowl adverts. These adverts are first class, and they have a captivated audience of millions. However, even so, these adverts so need they appeal to our lizard brain, and they do. There are clips of perilous activities and plus, take note of how many adverts are for food, satisfying our primitive brain’s need to avoid hunger.

Super Bowl Adverts

We’ve included a link to ‘watch mojo’s’ best 10 Super Bowl 2020 adverts. See if you can find how these adverts use ‘first responder’ stimuli.

There is the other part of the brain that needs engagement. The limbic system, which provides emotion and feeling and the neocortex, has two components:s the brain’s rational thinking and the most intelligent part.

Emotions And Feelings

The limbic system is responsible for emotion and feelings, so your advertising campaigns also must speak to our emotions. In many ways, just like the lizard brain, the limbic system is very instinctual, reacting rather than processing information before taking action.

According to HBR (Harvard Business Review), create content that’s going to demand the attention of your lizard brain and use emotion to also disrupt the status quo of consumers to get the sale.

We have interpreted the HBR article as saying you can use words and images to create that sense of urgency to appeal to both parts of the brain that will react without first applying logic.

Some of the emotions you can appeal to in your marketing and adverts include fear, hurt, greed, pride, joy, disgust, guilt, love.

Use these feelings to disrupt the status quo with messages that insinuate that the current position is no longer tenable and is detrimental to your life, health or job. Now the consumer is alert and willing to take action, i.e. follow the instructions in your advert, i.e. click here, call this number now etc.


The brain can be targeted by marketers in such a way that consumers willingly pay attention to advertising. The psychology of the brain in marketing is a huge topic worthy of ongoing discussions.

What we know is, there is no room for right or wrong or black and white thinking when it comes to the science of emotional buying. The Super Bowl adverts, for example, are less about the virtues of the product, which would appeal to our neocortex and all about stimulating the emotions and first responder areas of our brain.

Now consider your own campaigns. Are they working in the same way, or do you need to be smarter with your choice of words and images? If you’re now thinking about your marketing, you’re on the right path to success.